Stewart leads Team Canada at World Wrestling Championships
OSLO, NORWAY — Fredericton, New Brunswick’s Samantha Stewart is coming home with a special souvenir from the World Wrestling Championships in Oslo, Norway (Oct. 2-10). Stewart had a tremendous tournament and captured a bronze medal in the women’s 53kg weight class. She capped off a solid Canadian team performance from the event.
In total, Wrestling Canada Lutte (WCL) sent 15 athletes to the event. While Stewart’s performance was the only medal, there were many good performances for the team, especially coming off a season with less than ideal preparation due to COVID.
“I would like to recognize the coaches for all of their efforts to help best prepare their athletes, given the challenges of the past year and half,” said Tonya Verbeek, Head Coach, WCL. “I am proud of the athletes for embracing the opportunity to compete and learn from this experience. We had some close ones that were tough to accept, however I’m a firm believer that those are the matches that make the difference for athletes to make necessary changes to learn and grow.”
For Stewart, 31 and member of Black Bears WC, she earned the bronze after advancing through the repechage. She won her opening match of the tournament by fall over Russia’s Anzhelika Vetoshkina. She was defeated in the quarterfinal by Iulia Leorda of Moldova, but after Leorda advanced to the finals, Stewart was still alive in the repechage. She picked up a 10-0 technical superiority win over Assylzat Sagymbay from Kazakhstan, to punch her ticket to the bronze medal match. In the match she put on an impressive performance earning a fall over Khrystyna Bereza of Ukraine.
“Winning a world medal is so special and it means a lot to me, especially after all of the obstacles this past year and a half,” said Stewart. “It’s been my goal for a very long time to stand on the podium at the World Championships, so to see that realized and have all the hard work pay off is truly amazing. It was difficult not accomplishing my goal of competing at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, but I kept training, got back on the horse so-to-speak, and I think this really sets the tone for how I want to head into Paris 2024.”
“Samantha Stewart had a great tournament and walked away with a bronze medal because she put it on the line every match! I was vey impressed by her winning attitude and how she executed her game plan,” added Verbeek.
Canada nearly had a second bronze in the women’s 68kg weight class, as Orillia, Ontario’s Olivia Di Bacco also advanced to the bronze medal match. The Brock WC member came up just short losing 2-1 to Russia’s Khanum Velieva.
Other results on the women’s side included Brantford, Ontario’s Madison Parks (London-Western WC) seventh in the 50kg; Tecumseh, Ontario’s Linda Morais (Montreal YMHA) seventh in the 59kg; Surrey, British Columbia’s Ana Godinez (Burnaby Mountain WC) eighth in 62kg; Saskatoon’s Natasha Fox (Saskatoon WC) 12th in 55kg; and Toronto’s Alexandria Town (York WC) 13th in 57kg.
The top finish on the men’s side went to Saint-Louis, New Brunswick’s Jeremy Poirier (Concordia WC) who finished 8th at 92kg. Poirier earned a fall in his round of 16 match over Columbia’s Gilberto Rodriguez but was defeated in the quarterfinal by one of the eventual bronze medalists, Jden Cox of the U.S.
Montreal’s Samuel Barmish (Concordia WC) earned a top 10 finish at 79kg (10th); 2020 Tokyo Olympian, Surrey’s Amar Dhesi (Burnaby Mountain WC) finished 13th at 125kg; Surrey’s Darthe Capellan (Burnaby Mountain WC) finished 17th in 57kg; Abbotsford, British Columbia’s Nishan Randhawa (Burnaby Mountain WC) finished 22nd at 97kg; Abbotsford’s Jasmit Phulka (Burnaby Mountain WC) finished 25th at 74kg; and Toronto’s Ioannis Narlidis (London-Western WC) finished 27th at 97kg in Greco-Roman.
WCL would like to thank all of the athletes, coaches, staff and officials for proudly representing Canada.
For complete results or to watch any of the matches from the tournament, visit the UWW tournament site here.